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I am a big believer in historical  information. I  was likely a lowly scribe copying manuscripts for years on end long long ago -- that in another life thing.  

 

Whatever the reason I wanted to note for history that today was a REALLY BAD DAY in Sansar.  The latest update came with a few applauded additions (hand controller hold changes for desktop if I remember correctly, so you can hold your gun and shoot more realistically -- not a biggie for me). The new camera controls are indeed better in the dressing room and will be a help to creators taking vendor photos for sure (you can actually take a screenshot of your shoes up close now).  Other changes and additions were hit and miss with some not working well, some just not working, some causing continuous crashes for those building -- and now and then just for those standing around.    And then there was a REALLY BIG OOPS that pretty much broke a lot of content. 

If you are a certified Sansar citizen you can read it all on Discord. Take your coffee (well really you better take the pot) as the comments scroll on forever in the certified  social "sansar"channel.    

 

The devs think they have found their mistake and hope to fix it soon, but meanwhile a lot of previously very supportive Sansar citizenry were humming those "leaving on a jet plane" lyrics as they surveyed the continuous disregard for the builders of the worlds.  The problems of today didn't affect me much. I made my items "against the rules" and so there were few changes  to my stuff, but I certainly sympathize with the folks who were juggling those last straws and wondering if it might be better to go someone else or simply to stop trying to swim upstream. 

 

This was especially bad timing after the layoffs of last week. And honestly (and it was commented on via Discord) we don't even know who is working on the fix (or who caused the problem). The senior software engineer is apparently gone (comments on Glass Door) and the job is now listing as open on the Sansar website. 

So a few folks anyway were wondering who they're gonna call.  I had visions of a twenty something fellow trying to do it all and patch up the problems (ones that he might not have had anything to do with at all). I am glad that I am not in his imaginary shoes.  

 

Lots of folks are currently on the fence. Some will calm down, some probably won't. Eventually we just get tired.  

 

I am still there but not "invested" like I was  in the past and like some are still (the ones most upset).  I totally get their dismay and frustration. 

 

  I hope it all works out, but today was definitely not a good day.   

Edited by Chic Aeon
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*sigh*

Re-written this reply like ten times now.

First inquisitive...then angry...then resigned....back to calm & questioning.................................in the end.............just giving up.

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6 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

but today was definitely not a good day.   

I always admired the energy and time you have put into Sansar. If you are struggling now to keep your spirits alive... that probably tells a lot about the state of Sansar.

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Discord is still very busy this morning mostly with the guys arguing over the best methods of delivering data to the masses as well as some "best practices" in building methods. So the world goes on.   Hopefully the biggest issues will be fixed today. If not it will be a tough weekend for those trying to build.  

 

I am taking a bit of a break and playing around with some sculpting in Blender (so far so good) and hopefully by the time I am ready to test things will be "normal" (as normal as it gets).    There were a few new features that made folks happy. Just too many things NOT working in the mix. Likely they are trying to do too much too fast.    

 

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. Well I am busy playing with hair and sculpting tools but I looked over to see what has been happening  in Sansar and someone lost their avatar (ghosting of a sort). It get's more complex than that but doesn't matter. Turns out there is no support desk until Wednesday ^^. Some aware person may  stick someone in that spot but the ONE (now) support person is on vacation (pre-planned apparently). 

It is difficult to know whether to laugh or to cry.  Or perhaps take a few days off. 

 

My cap with hair is looking much better than my LAST try a year ago though. So a plus there. 

 

 

PS Ah good news. Someone I didn't know is fixing the issue hopefully. Thank goodness for Discord.

 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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11 minutes ago, Caerolle Llewellyn said:

If only LL had put all the resources they have wasted on Sansar into building a better SL and promoting it better.

Well we won't ever know.  I understand the desire and business push to have newer and better and cutting edge. They just didn't really know what the wanted to build. First a platform for 3D superstar games, then a 'Disneyland' for SL folks to come and get away from their everyday lives, then a multi-level store with residuals, then a "game" (yes really) and now an event platform.  And now it is time it seems for the piper to be paid. Five years more or less. A milestone time.   

 

And apparently a BUNCH of folks are currently on vacation (oh my) so not much will get accomplished before the end of next week. A few folks are around to keep the campfires burning and get people logging in after they crash and get locked out.   Some at least are getting a few things done.   Will be interesting to see what the new year brings. 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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8 minutes ago, Chic Aeon said:

Well we won't ever know.  I understand the desire and business push to have newer and better and cutting edge. They just didn't really know what the wanted to build. First a platform for 3D superstar games, then a 'Disneyland' for SL folks to come and get away from their everyday lives, then a multi-level store with residuals, then a "game" (yes really) and now an event platform.  And now it is time it seems for the piper to be paid. Five years more or less. A milestone time.  

Classic LL. Really, given the level of incompetence displayed by them over the years, I am amazed at how successful SL has actually been. Probably mostly due to the builders and merchants rather than due to LL themselves. I wish they would have built a new SL based on new technology that improved on the experience instead of whatever it was that Sansar was or is supposed to be.

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"Sansar is bad because the money could have been spent on SL."

I see this argument a lot. Sansar has plenty of things you can point to other than that, but everyone seems to latch on to the worst argument there is.

Why?

Stop and ask yourself why they decided to make a new thing instead of try to band aid an old thing even longer.

It was a wise business decision, just executed horribly wrong.

 

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Since I can't join the Sansar Discord group without actually logging into Sansar, and the Sansar forums don't have recent info, @Chic Aeon could you please give us a few more details of what's not working / broken in Sansar? Thank you very much in advance.

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2 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Since I can't join the Sansar Discord group without actually logging into Sansar, and the Sansar forums don't have recent info, @Chic Aeon could you please give us a few more details of what's not working / broken in Sansar? Thank you very much in advance.

Sure. Understand.

 

Well there have been lots and lots of crashes mostly when folks are trying to upload a texture or edit their "world" in another way. There are two modes of viewing worlds in Sansar, one that visitors see and one that the builder sees (with access to building tools). The editing mode has been hit the hardest but in my brief journey out of the dressing room where I mostly hang out these days, I even crashed just standing still at one of my worlds (some of the most optimized in Sansar so think "low lag"). 

 

The biggest outcry as there have often been times when crashing during editing was a big issue (maybe not quite as bad as this week but still not too unusual) was that the texture maps got all off. So people who had been using all the fancy shaders to make their graments  look gorgeous now had very flat and boring clothing --- and the same with items they had made for their worlds.  Water no longer had "waves" (only to some people oddly -- that was never explained that I saw), metal was no longer shiny etc. So the things that we think of a "bump" and "shine" were all messed up along with another shader that we don't have here in SL (it is a completely different system; I am just trying to simplify for non-builders).   It turns out (maybe as there hasn't been a patch yet) that the devs switched out some tiny default textures (like say "blank" for SL)  by mistake and over compressed the normal maps.  These changes were to make it so more folks could be in the same experience (so downgrading the textures -- LOD control for avatars is already there).  Hopefully they will be able to fix that Monday but apparently a lot of folks are on vacation this week (yes odd). 

People would crash and not be able to come back into Sansar. There would be "doubles" and kind of what we think of here as "ghosting".  There were constant crashes too when people tried to use the animation system inworld.   Likely a bunch of other thing that I wasn't paying attention to as they don't affect me personally.  One patch went out Friday before quitting time and I think that helped some of the crashing for people but it still isn't back to normal by any means.  

 

Personally I had very few problems. I made my experiences (now "worlds") in a very different way than most do in Sansar. I used my typical Cycles method of building which was kind of looked down on there as "different" but eventually I think it was excepted fairly well. I learned to use MY method in a more Sansar-esce manner and my things fit in with the PRB textures (that's a texturing method but don't worry about it) that was and is the norm.  I used very few of the shaders that were the problem (and still are -- that hasn't been fixed yet). I uploaded my Marvelous Designer clothes just as they were made in Marvelous Designer; I didn't export and then texture in another program like many do.   So for me the problems have been minimal. 
 

On the plus side the dressing room camera navigation is greatly improved and you can take vendor photos in there easily  (with some practice) now that are SO MUCH better.  Medhue and others can make some cute avatars as the bones can now move, and people can now upload jpg textures (saving some texture memory) as well as textures that are not "power of two" (like 512 x 512).  That I believe is going to help me solve an issue today (fingers crossed). 

 

Hope that helped some. Sure I forgot some major things. Just waking up :D.   

The community seems to be bouncing back and is as good or betteras ever at helping each other out via Discord. I can't say spirits are up but many are hanging in there. We will see what the new year brings -- hopefully.    

 

 

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2 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

Hope that helped some. Sure I forgot some major things. Just waking up :D.   

 

Thank you!

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2 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

We will see what the new year brings -- hopefully...

... Sansar's shut down event.

Completed the sentence for you, no need to thank me LOL

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I'm an optimist that LL will roll some successful bits of Sansar back into SL.

Well it is a completely different platform so I don't think the TECHNOLOGY can transfer over. They may have learned some things that would be helpful here though. We can hope. 

 

 

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Most folks seem "recovered". Staff is up front about being "skimpy". No reason to lie about that. The big "breaking content" oops has been fixed so aside from some clearing of cache folks didn't have to do anything.  The Edit Server Crash (those have happened before) is still being looked at as well as the strange new lighting in the Lookbook dressing room (well I HOPE it is being looked at; plenty of discussion about it today on Discord).  

 

Some folk are uploading new things, some not. A few seem MIA but hard to say if they are "gone" or just "taking a break after the fallout". So life goes on. It is a good community. We don't always agree and there are a few "bad apples" but hey that's the norm.   Sales are quite good for me but I wouldn't advise folks coming over until Sansar decides what it wants to be. Only those with very strong constitutions need to apply for the "frontier".   

Still, it makes good stories.   

 

There are new Linden names we see of late. Not sure if they are  really new or just have different jobs and we hear from them now. Few are expecting much newness for the citizens in the coming times.  But there is still plenty to do.  I may actually get shoes to rig correctly sometime :D.  

 

 

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Well, Sansar management has announced their new direction - live entertainment in-world. When Fortnite got 10.7 million people to watch a DJ in-world, that got attention in the VR and virtual world communities. As a business model, this works for Fortnite, which runs around 7 million concurrent players when not having a special event. They have somewhere around 250 milion people who've installed their client. For everybody else, not so much. Several of the other virtual worlds have tried to jump on the special event bandwagon. You can watch NBA basketball in VR, for example.  Hulu and NextVR have partnered with Live Nation to try that.

The entertainment promoter and the talent, not the VR service, gets most of the revenue. That's the problem with special events. LL is in a very weak position negotiating with Live Nation, which controls most of the better live entertainer in the US. It's like televising sports - the networks pay the league, not the other way around. It only works if you sell ads in a big way.

Facebook Horizons, their new VR system launching next year, will probably try to pull this off. They're big enough to play with the big boys in entertainment, and have a big ad business. We'll see. Facebook Spaces was a flop. LL just isn't big enough to play in that league. Having the technology doesn't help; at least half a dozen other companies have systems for watching other people do stuff in VR.

sansarusagenov2019.thumb.png.c361350c24f6460807e133eadd1bbf60.png

Sansar usage goes up during special events. Then it goes back down to below 20.

(Yes, I know there are non-Steam users of Sansar. These stats are valuable because the vendor doesn't control them. It's like reading financial statements - you always look at the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) accounting at the bottom first, not the "earnings before all the bad stuff" (EBITDA) numbers the company puts at the top.)

Okay, a bit too much business analysis for SL. I'm in Silicon Valley.

 

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7 hours ago, animats said:

Well, Sansar management has announced their new direction - live entertainment in-world. When Fortnite got 10.7 million people to watch a DJ in-world, that got attention in the VR and virtual world communities. As a business model, this works for Fortnite, which runs around 7 million concurrent players when not having a special event. They have somewhere around 250 milion people who've installed their client. For everybody else, not so much. Several of the other virtual worlds have tried to jump on the special event bandwagon. You can watch NBA basketball in VR, for example.  Hulu and NextVR have partnered with Live Nation to try that.

The entertainment promoter and the talent, not the VR service, gets most of the revenue. That's the problem with special events. LL is in a very weak position negotiating with Live Nation, which controls most of the better live entertainer in the US. It's like televising sports - the networks pay the league, not the other way around. It only works if you sell ads in a big way.

Facebook Horizons, their new VR system launching next year, will probably try to pull this off. They're big enough to play with the big boys in entertainment, and have a big ad business. We'll see. Facebook Spaces was a flop. LL just isn't big enough to play in that league. Having the technology doesn't help; at least half a dozen other companies have systems for watching other people do stuff in VR.

 

Sansar usage goes up during special events. Then it goes back down to below 20.

(Yes, I know there are non-Steam users of Sansar. These stats are valuable because the vendor doesn't control them. It's like reading financial statements - you always look at the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) accounting at the bottom first, not the "earnings before all the bad stuff" (EBITDA) numbers the company puts at the top.)

Okay, a bit too much business analysis for SL. I'm in Silicon Valley.

 

It's probably already been tried, but someone should really explain the sunk costs fallacy to the LL folks.

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Feeling that I should update this thread a bit as it was a hellish weekend over in Sansar. I am pretty sure that all the  SL creators that were "heading over" have done so by now, but just in case that is not the reality, my advice is to "not go NOW".  A few things got fixed and those "fixes" broke more than was fixed in the process. Avatars, poses and things to do with the armature etc are rift with upload  errors (many  error messages not making any sense at all when trying to upload). Things that used to work do not work any longer.   

 

From the OUTSIDE (I have no intel at all) it appears that many of the folks that are left know considerably less than the those who were pushed out the door.   Not their fault. I am sure they are doing their best. But we see it so often when companies  are trying to save money; the folks who actually are best at their jobs are often the ones paid the most.  This is not a rocket science equation.    Nothing but problems on DISCORD this weekend (well a few new hats and backpacks :D and uploading an avatar that conforms to a very NORMAL look still seems to work for some folks). But in general things are in the hair pulling stage.   Plenty of folks were locked out all weekend.  

 

Along with many old timers and some new folks (what a BAD time to try and figure it all out)  I am having problems with some uploads ___ and this is all just making me tired, so I am MOVING AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD and taking a Sansar break. Looks like it is time to get out my camera and explore  SL a bit. 

 

I still hope it all works out, but it isn't looking positive.   

 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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Funny, most companies would fix IT failures by examining the most recent changes and "backing them out". I guess their Change Management wasn't very good (or lost track of during employee's departure).

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Sansar is very unstable to long-term investment, and in general the 'core group' of users that have been there remain the same - albeit for a few more additions of people who 'towed the line' and are now in. By December, we may see the same core group of users happily operating all by themselves - owning the whole shop (about 30 of them).
The early community core group there has become toxic, and hostile to new users. Impatient of any technical issues new users have, or 'bad' behaviour easily solved with mute/block, becoming a snitch community always getting staff members involved, and ostracizing those 'who rub others the wrong way' (in other words, have a differing opinion).
Sansar has become an echo chamber to the early adopters - the staff unable to see true and potential talent, supporting people who claim to be victims, praising people who need to improve their skills, and rewarding behaviour that is detrimental to the platform. Favouritism abounds, the lack of professionalism in dealing with users is shocking - political idealogies turning Sansar into a battleground rather than a creative platform.

There is more to Sansar that makes it ill than just technical - it's the same sickness that destroyed the social aspect of HIFI - drama and calls to exclude groups - and those same users are now in Sansar doing the same thing.

Not a friendly place from technical to social for the aspiring creator such as myself - that just wants to build and share cool stuff with others.

The only cure is to get 1000s and 1000s of users to dilute the power of the early toxic core group - and to get a real audience for the rest of us.

I have created all-new stuff and experiences (not released yet) for Sansar - which have been broken in one way or another over the last year.. combined with the constant heavy-handed manner of trying to make me conform - has not overall been a pleasant experience.

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One of their biggest problems is and has been retention of users. As such the "early adopters" have mostly moved on. The lifespan of a users retention is related to the sum of "things you can do" and that's where it all breaks down. 6 months to 2 years for the very forgiving optimistic types. You are seeing round 2 or 3 now of peer groups in there now. They have yet to focus heavy and hard on the interactivity nature from a coding perspective. And so won't likely reach that long term retention until so. Cutting back half the staff probably isn't the best path forward to achieve that.

 

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